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“Weighing benefits against costs is the way most people make decisions — and the way most businesses make decisions, if they want to stay in business. Only in government is any benefit, however small, considered to be worth any cost, however large.”– Thomas Sowell
In recent days, I have been wishing to hear from Thomas Sowell on our current pandemic predicament. Fortunately, he has already produced enough quotable wisdom to last for millennia. And he saw this moment coming. Whether politicians, or anyone else, will ever truly take heed of the lessons he has taught is another matter. There is so much that no one knows at this point, especially about the true benefits of current stay-at-home policies. We are seeing the costs adding up quickly, and it seems to me that they will only get worse.
For Governor Cuomo, the appeal of stating that saving one life is worth whatever it takes is obvious. It communicates that he cares. And he doesn’t want to be blamed for countless deaths that it might have been possible to avoid. Allowing citizens and residents to freely interact presents greater risks than rewards. As a Virginia resident, I am looking toward June 10th as the earliest possible chance for a return to normalcy. How many small business owners will have seen their lives’ work destroyed by then? How many retirees will have had their life savings evaporate? Perhaps Americans could figure out more nuanced ways to minimize the spread of disease while continuing to conduct business, but can politicians?Published in